Board OK’s Tax Anticipation Loan

Meeting Ends in Turmoil

WINNSBORO (June 23, 2016) – During its regular called meeting June 7, the Fairfield County School Board approved a $38,047,384 budget with no millage increase, which remains at 203.1 mils. The Board also approved a Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) not to exceed $4.3 million.

Superintendent Dr. J.R. Green explained that the purpose of the TAN is to allow the District to receive an advance on tax revenue that will not come into the District until the beginning of the next year in January.

Board Secretary William Frick (District 6) thanked Robinson and his staff for bringing the amount of the TAN down about $2 million from what it was last year. Last October, Frick had asked Robinson if the Board might potentially not have to take out a TAN for the FY 2015-2016 budget since the District had “an anticipated $9 million in the fund balance and considering that each year we’re looking at about a $6 million TAN.”

“I understand these are necessary from time to time but . . . on my time on the Board this is at least one million dollars lower than any other TAN we have voted on,” Frick said.

Board member Paula Hartman (District 2) also asked Green if the District could forgo a TAN this year due to the money the District has in savings. However, Green replied that the District does not have enough cash on hand not to do a TAN.

“We are not at the point where we don’t need a TAN at all,” he said.

The budget and the TAN each passed on a 5-2 vote, with Hartman and Annie McDaniel (District 4) voting against both.

Meeting Ends Contentiously

The Board meeting ended on a contentious note when McDaniel asked Board Chairwoman Beth Reid (District 7) for a list of the teachers who have left each school during the current school year.

“I think they have all been in board docs,” Reid said, referring to the information packet provided to Board members. “They are all there, we have looked at them, you have voted on it.”

The Board routinely votes on all terminations/resignations of certified District staff, but McDaniel has complained that Board members are never allowed to see teachers’ resignation letters.

“My question is, could we have a comprehensive list of all the teachers that have left each school?” McDaniel repeated.

Reid said they could not unless that is the consensus of the Board.

“That’s extra work on the staff. That is why the Board as a whole must request it,” Reid said. “This in the Board policy manual.”

Hartman tried to rally the Board to vote to request that McDaniel be given the information, but Reid would not allow a vote since she said this was not an action item on the agenda.

At that point the meeting disintegrated further with accusations of untruthfulness and name calling back and forth between McDaniel and Reid. Reid banged her gravel continuously, and as the arguing continued, she called both McDaniel and Hartman out of order. The din continued until a motion was passed to adjourn the meeting.

McDaniel got in the last word: “I want it in the record that you (Reid) won’t let Board members get information to be able to (function) as Board members.”